There isn’t a landlord in Fresno who enjoys dealing with tenant conflicts.
As property managers, we don’t love it either, but we do have processes in place to ensure that resolving tenant disputes and conflicts is manageable. We don’t escalate the situation and we don’t make promises we cannot keep. Instead, we listen, we investigate, we document, and we take the steps that the lease and the law will allow us to take in order to come to a resolution that everyone can live with.
Tenant conflicts can range from conflicts with each other (someone’s music is too loud or a neighbor is not cleaning up after their dog) to conflicts with their landlord (something hasn’t been fixed to their satisfaction or a security deposit has not been returned).
Resolving tenant conflicts can be a challenging task that requires patience, communication skills, and the right approach borne of experience and expertise. Property managers can help by continuing to provide valuable support and services while solving problems creatively.
Let’s take a look at how your Fresno property manager can be a leader in resolving tenant conflicts, preventing future conflicts, and ensuring your rental property continues to operate smoothly.
Fresno Property Management and Disputes between Tenants
You hire a property manager so that you don’t have to worry about the intricacies of tenant relationships.
This is an especially wise decision when two of your tenants are not getting along. Perhaps you’re renting out a duplex or several condo units. Maybe you own a small apartment building or there are even two single-family homes that you own where tenants just don’t get along with each other.
It’s not necessarily your problem. However, you will likely be called upon to intervene if a dispute or conflict begins to escalate or has one tenant feeling like they might need to move. Your job as a landlord is to provide a safe and habitable home to all your tenants and if you’re someone who shies away from conflict or simply does not want to be part of the latest argument in your rental properties, you need the support and the expertise of a property manager.
Here’s how a professional would handle problems between your tenants to ensure that these problems don’t ultimately become your problem:
- Property Managers Know What’s in Your Lease Agreement
When tenants are arguing over one neighbor playing music too loudly at night, garbage not disposed of properly, or pets that leave messes on walking paths and in outdoor spaces, the first thing your property manager will do is to access the lease agreement that your tenants signed. Most lease agreements will establish quiet hours, address parking, and include pet policies. Your property manager can be expected to keep all of your tenants following the same rules, and to remind them of what they’ve agreed to in the lease.
A consistent and well-enforced lease leads to a safe environment, where tenants do not have to worry about harassment or threats from their neighbors. Most rental properties enforce quiet hours between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Your tenants are likely to be on all different schedules. Maybe one tenant works nights. That’s difficult to navigate because you cannot write your lease to meet the lifestyle needs of every tenant. But, your property manager will know how to set up a consistent timeframe for less noise, which will provide tenants with a standard to follow. Property managers use and enforce your lease agreement.
- Property Managers Will Put Together a Dispute Resolution Policy
Ideally, your tenants will feel comfortable and empowered to resolve their problems with one another on their own. Why involve you or your property manager at all? Some tenants will be quick to look for outside help, and that’s why you need a property manager with a policy in place.
Minor disagreements do not have to become gaping conflicts. Typically, a minor dispute or conflict is a simple matter of needing better communication between tenants. One tenant who is accused by another tenant of making too much noise may not even realize how thin the walls are and how easily their neighbors can hear their television or their music. It’s possible a simple conversation is all that’s required. When that simple conversation doesn’t work, your residents will need instructions for how to file a complaint about neighboring tenants.
Property managers have the experience and the knowledge to anticipate these disputes, and to have a policy in place for resolving them. We’ll often ask tenants to provide a written complaint so it’s documented.
Property Managers and Documentation
As Fresno property managers, we document everything.
This is helpful when we’re talking about tenant conflicts. Whether the conflict is between a tenant and our team or two tenants who live too close together, we want to have all of the necessary information in place. Every conversation, every complaint, and even every ultimate resolution needs to be in writing. You never know when you’ll need this.
If the complaint from one tenant reflects a lease violation from the other tenant, we will have the documentation we need to make contact with the tenant in question and ask them to come into compliance. Loud parties at 2:00 a.m. may violate the quiet clause in the lease, and we cannot do anything until we’ve documented the complaint, provided evidence that it’s valid, and referenced the lease section that prevents this kind of behavior.
We have all the details, correspondence, and timeline in writing so we can identify and solve problems.
Never is it a good sign if the police are called. But, if a situation escalates to that point, we’ll always request a copy of the police report to add to our files.
Hopefully, it won’t get to the point that you need to evict a tenant who is causing problems for other tenants. Property managers know, however, that this is always an option.
When Conflicts are Between a Tenant and Their Neighbor
As property managers in Fresno, we have a lot of leverage when we’re solving problems that tenants of ours are having with each other. But, we occasionally run into a situation when a tenant is having problems with a neighbor who is not our tenant. This is slightly more complicated.
What’s important in these situations is tenant support, and here’s how property managers do it:
- Property Managers Understand Active Listening
Your tenants might understand that there’s nothing you can do about a disruptive neighbor. Maybe they just want to be heard. If you don’t have the time or the interest in listening, you need to hire a property manager who can do the listening for you. Because it’s critical that your tenants feel supported. Property managers will be a resource and remain empathetic.
When your tenants come to your property manager with a complaint about noise, pet problems, parking issues, or other nuisances that they’re experiencing, they want to be heard. Property managers are willing to receive the complaint. We understand the importance of good tenant relationships and excellent communication.
Tenants need someone to be on their side. Property managers will ask questions when tenants are sharing their concerns, and talk about what they’ve already done – or tried to do – to remedy the situation.
- Relationships with HOAs
Is your rental property in an HOA? If so, this may give your property manager some leverage when it comes to tenant conflicts. When there’s a problem with the behavior of a neighbor, your property manager can go to the association board to resolve the issue or ask them to intervene and talk to the neighbor who is causing problems. There are almost certainly rules about noise, quiet hours, parking, disruptive parties, and pet clean-up.
Fresno Property Managers and Communication
Communication is always important in clearing problems and resolving conflicts, and this is an area where your property manager should excel. Conflicts, when left unresolved, can simmer over into major battles, leading to tenants moving out and lost revenue. Invest in a property manager who is willing to invest in tenant relationships.
In some cases, the conflict will be between a tenant and your property manager. In this case, you’ll need a team of reliable professionals who can remain businesslike and respectful. Maybe your tenant is complaining that a maintenance request has been ignored. What process does your manager have in place to address a delay in repairs? How well are they communicating with your tenants?
When you work with a Fresno property manager, conflicts and disputes should not be your problem. You’ll want to be kept informed of anything that’s going on, but one of the benefits of working with a property management partner is that you won’t have to handle the day-to-day issues that come up with and between residents and their neighbors.
If you want to talk more abut how we can help with tenant relations, please contact our team at River Drive Properties. We’d be happy to answer any questions.
River Drive Properties provides effective and professional property management services in Merced and the surrounding areas including Fresno, Modesto, Tulare, and Turlock. We have extensive experience with both single-family homes and multifamily properties.